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Home:  >News & Events   >News Archives   >2003

Retired Mississippi State University historian helping plan upcoming national tributes

Feb. 25, 2003

STARKVILLE, Miss. — A Civil War scholar and retired Mississippi State history professor is among a team of national experts helping commemorate two 19th century milestones.

John F. Marszalek is one of 15 members of the Scholars Advisory Committee at the Mariners Museum in Newport News, Va.

In cooperation with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the museum is raising the USS Monitor, the prototype Union Civil War ship involved in the first battle of armor-plated vessels. Not long after its historic 1862 encounter with the Confederacy’s CSS Virginia (formerly the Merrimack), the Monitor sank in rough waters off Cape Hatteras, N.C.

“The Mariners’ Museum has been designated to care for artifacts from the Monitor, which was the first of a new class of warships for its time,” Marszalek said. “The planned USS Monitor Center will open in 2007 to display the artifacts, tell the historical story of naval warfare and the Civil War, and provide more information on the famous Monitor-Merrimac battle that changed warfare at sea.”

Marszalek also is among approximately 100 academic, business and political experts on President Abraham Lincoln and the American Civil War era asked to serve on an advisory committee to the congressionally established Lincoln Bicentennial Commission. The committee will have a major role in planning a national 200th birthday celebration in 2009 of America’s 16th president and first Republican chief executive.

One of MSU’s top William L. Giles Distinguished Professors, Marszalek has authored 11 books and more than 150 articles over his 30-year career. Retired since June, he currently is at work on a biography of the Civil War’s longest-serving commanding general, Henry W. Halleck. The book is scheduled to be published in 2004 by Harvard University Press.


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